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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 January 2011

Bankers get billions - We get cuts

Time to fight back!

Youth Fight for jobs campaigning in Cardiff against the bankers bailouts and bonuses, photo Cardiff YFJ

Youth Fight for jobs campaigning in Cardiff against the bankers bailouts and bonuses, photo Cardiff YFJ

FOR GREEDY, self-serving banking industry bosses, failure is rewarded by fat pay-offs and lavish pensions. Their 'success' attracts the level of bonus which makes every payout for top bankers like winning the lottery every year. They are to share 7 billion in bonuses at a time of austerity, job losses and lowered pay for the rest of us.

Tony Mulhearn

The Con-Dem government is bound to the tops of the banking industry by class, outlook and income. Cabinet members with links to the City, claims the Daily Mirror, include paymaster general Francis Maude, who worked for Solomon Bros and Morgan Stanley. Lord Strathclyde, leader of the House of Lords, was chair of Trafalgar Capital Management from 2001 to 2010.

Then there's cabinet office minister Oliver Letwin, an architect of the cuts programme, who worked for Rothschild & Son from 1986 to 2009, while international development secretary Andrew Mitchell worked for Lazard Bros from 1979 to 2009. Some 19 Tory MPs and peers have also worked for major banks.

Even sections of the capitalist press, sensing its mass readership's rage, called for something to be done about the banks' 'excesses'. For months a series of ministers of all parties threatened to toughen the government's stance over City bonuses. Downing Street, however, announced that the government did not intend to 'intervene' in the pay of Britain's top bankers.

David Cameron jumped to the defence of Stephen Hester, boss of the publicly-owned RBS bank, who is in line for a 2.5 million bonus. The prime minister claimed to understand public fury at the excess of City fat-cats who fuelled the global financial crisis - but said it was wrong to "bash the banks".

NSSN lobby of TUC - Tony  Mulhearn, former Liverpool councillor, photo Dave Beale

NSSN lobby of TUC - Tony Mulhearn, former Liverpool councillor, photo Dave Beale   (Click to enlarge)

Cameron of course enthusiastically bashes the workers. The most sterling defenders of bankers' right to fleece the taxpayer are also the most enthusiastic public sector job wreckers, wage freezers and benefit-slashers. They are all advocates of the hard times which the working class 'must' endure to salvage the crisis created by these parasites.

Before being deprived of his 'power' after the 'War on Murdoch' episode Vince Cable said, with all the authority of a dead sheep, that he would take 'robust action' to curb bonuses. There were gales of laughter from the Square Mile.

A desperate situation requires radical measures. While the free market reigns supreme, the laws of unbridled capitalism will apply: maximise profits and wealth at the expense of workers.

The answer is a socialist one. Nationalise, not just the losses, but the whole banking sector. It should be run under the democratic management and control of the working class with accountability to society as a whole. Any 'experts' refusing to work without mega payouts can report to the Jobcentre and share the experience of millions of unemployed people.

When observing the massive bonuses being paid to the bankers, rail workers' union RMT leader Bob Crow said: "My advice to any worker told they should take a pay freeze or a pay cut this year is to point to the bankers, stand firm and demand a fair deal."

Those words must be translated into action by the whole trade union movement. We won't pay for these greedy capitalists' crisis with our jobs, our services or our living standards.

NSSN anti-cuts conference -

Sat. 22 January, 11.30am-3.30pm

South Camden Community School, Charrington Street, London NW1 (near Euston Station)

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In The Socialist 12 January 2011:

Anti-cuts campaign

Bankers get billions - We get cuts

Youth fight for jobs

March for a future - Join the demonstrations on 29 January

More attacks on rights for young workers

Axe falls on courses at UWIC

Students at Leeds Trinity re-occupy

International socialist news and analysis

Tunisia: Wave of protests against repressive regime

National Shop Stewards Network

Rage at inequality fires workers' action

NSSN National: Anti-Cuts Conference

NSSN debate: The way forward for the anti-cuts movement

National Shop Stewards Network: Strategy and tactics - a dialogue

Labour baroness wants politics kept out of the Forest of Dean

Fighting Labour's cuts in Waltham Forest

Socialist Party news and analysis

Jobs cut while the rich carry on partying

The plot thickens at News International

'Big Oil' cuts corners on safety to boost profits

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Councils ramp up service charges

Campaigners tell PM: 'No to Royal Mail privatisation'

Police moles attempt to discredit protest movements

Socialist Party workplace news

Unison rejects NHS pay freeze

Kirklees council: First round victory in cuts battle

Darlington: Newsquest strikes continue to spread

Rotherham teachers strike

Workplace news in brief


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